Are you looking for a checklist of what to do before you buy your home? Hi, I’m Sean Dezahd, Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty / the California Homes Group in beautiful, Orange County, California. I’m going to tell you five items that you need to check off your list before you purchase a home. The first item to get checked off your list is getting pre-qualified with a lender. This accomplishes three things for you. No. 1, you find out whether or not you’re qualified right now. No. 2, you find out how much you’re qualified for. And No. 3, getting qualified gets you a pre-qualification letter, which you’d want to submit with your offer. So the seller knows to take your offer seriously. The second item to get checked off the list is decide how much you can truly afford. This is different than how much you pre-qualify for. The lender’s going to tell you: OK, based off of their ratios and their factors, they figure how much of your income you can actually afford for a payment. But that’s maybe different than what you’re comfortable paying. So you want to kind of go: OK, I have a certain budget, say, $3,000 a month, whatever that number is. Based off of that we can kind of figure out, OK, how much property you can actually purchase. Now, No. 3 on the checklist is hiring a good Realtor. Now that you’ve actually gotten pre-qualified, so you’ve got the finances more or less figured out. You find out how much you want to spend, and everything. Now the Realtor is in play to help you get you from that spot to actually ultimately getting you into your home. No. 4 is that when you’re sitting with your Realtor, you want to determine really your needs and wants. What I mean by that is we all want a 5-bedroom, 3-bath house. But that may or may not be within your budget. However, your needs are maybe a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house. You have to have that, for whatever your situation is. So you want to know what your needs are and communicate that to your Realtor. You also want to let your Realtor know what your wants are because the idea is to hopefully … One, you want to check off all the boxes of your needs–that’s why you’re buying a place. But second is that you’re hoping that we can actually accomplish within your budget, getting as many of those wants satisfied as well. No. 5 is start looking. This is the fun part. This is where you can actually check out different places with your Realtor, or just going to open houses, or just driving by different properties where you’re kind of like, these areas work for you. Because what you want to do is you want to find different areas that are within a reasonable commute–whatever that is for you– determine what the traffic levels are like. Is it super traffic-y, or is it pretty clear? You also want to check out neighborhoods at different times of the day, because a neighborhood might seem great during the middle of the day when no one’s home, but at night there might be, parking might be an issue. It might be noisy. But there’s a lot of different things that you want to figure out because this is going to be your investment. You want to make sure that you’re comfortable in that area. I know you probably have a lot more questions, because this is just a very short checklist from getting you from not knowing anything about the home-buying process to hopefully identifying a property that you really like. But obviously there’s more to it than that. You can obviously feel free to text me if you have any further questions. I know it’s a little bit weird to text some random person from the Internet, but I’m here to help, no matter where you are in the home-buying process, if you’re ready to buy now or if you’re two years out; I’m here to help.